The Perfect Home Defense Weapon

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The Perfect Home Defense Weapon

The number 1 question that I get asked of me is…

“What is the perfect home defense weapon?”

Well, that really can’t be answered with just one gun. And if it could have, you’ll have already known the answer. But, what I can tell you is, you have to have a gun that is suited to your level of proficiency.


You may choose a revolver, semi-automatic, shotgun, or AR type rifle. But if you don’t know how to effectively use that gun, and by use, I mean correct a malfunction instantly, then you shouldn’t use that weapon in a life or death situation.

Now, remember what you’re using this for, to defend yourself and your family from a brutal home invasion. This person wants to kill you, wants to bound, gag, and potentially rape or murder your family.

And because you saw some great TV show out there, and the guy had a cool gun, and you thought, “That’s the one for me.”

You spend a lot of money. You went and bought a bunch of Gucci gear for it, and you think you’re going to run that gun when you have no manual dexterity. You’ve got tunnel vision and all of a sudden something goes click instead of bang.

Now, I hear guys say….

“I’m going to buy my wife a revolver. It has a heavy trigger pull, so if she gets nervous, she has a lower chance of accidentally pulling the trigger. She doesn’t have to worry about a magazine.”

Guys, if you think your woman can’t handle a gun, well,  you’re underestimating her. And you haven’t spent any time with her on the range.

If you care enough about her to enter in a marriage with her, have children with her, and you yourself would take a bullet for her, you owe it to yourself to teach her how to defend herself.

Now, giving her a revolver, take for instance a Smith and Wesson 642 airweight and 38 caliber. It has 5 rounds in a cylinder. Even the most experienced revolver users, completion shooters take, on average, longer to dump the shells, reload with a speed loader, close the cylinder, and get back on target.

Now, I don’t have any issue with revolvers. I like revolvers. I think they’re great back-up gun. But, if my wife is huddled down in a closet with my children, I don’t know that a revolver is what optimally I want her to have.

glock 19Glock 19 holds 15 rounds. Put one in the chamber. Now you have 16 rounds. That’s a far cry from 5 rounds of a revolver.

If there are multiple attackers, and tell me that there won’t be, tell me that there won’t be 2 or 3 guys coming into the house.

You’re willing to bet the life of your wife and your children on that. I would want as many bullets as I can get. And I would want extra magazines with many more bullets.

Doing a magazine change on a semi-automatic pistol, when the slide locks to the rear, is simple. As my good friend Jake Gibson would say, “Put the thing in the thing and pull the thing.”

And you see I didn’t do any type of military jargon, right? Just put the goddamn magazine in it, rack the slide, and start pulling the trigger.

To all the wives, women out there, if your man won’t show you that, here’s how you do it:

  1. Put the magazine in
  2. Pull the slide
  3. Pull the trigger

It’s as simple as that.

Now I also hear…

“I’m gonna get out my 45. And I love a 45 because they don’t make a 46.”

1911

Alright, a 1911 series, right, hey, I love the 1911. It’s a great gun. But how many rounds do a 1911 hold?

8? With one in the chamber thats 9….At most.

You might be thinking…

“I only need one of a 45 and knock him down”.

Well here’s the question…

Is that guy who’s just invaded your home going to stay static? Is he just going to stay put and wait for your shot? And are you going to be able to use a 2-handed grip, firm firing grip stance, and pull the trigger to the rear and make an effective, accurate shot?

Under stress and duress, you’re only going to perform at the level you’ve trained for. Nothing more, nothing less.

Hey, there are guys who are expert in 1911 and I’m with you right there.

bullet acapcityBut, as far as bullet capacity, I want something that holds more bullets.

Because in today’s environment, people are working in pairs. They’re working in trios. They got 4 guys, 5 guys. Okay?

You cannot count on you making an accurate shot the 1st time.

It’s unfortunate, but that’s the reality of things.

Unless you’re training every single day, and what I mean by training is going to the range, load your gun, point it forward, and pull the trigger. That shot location might as well be your 1st shot in a life or death situation.

Now notice I didn’t say take time, steady your breathing, front sight picture, focus forward, slowly pull the trigger to the rear, and wait for the reset. I didn’t say anything like that. Just load your gun, press out, and pull the trigger.

Guys in the military, professional law enforcement, swat teams, they train like that every day. When I say every day, what does that mean to you? It means 5,000 rounds a month, every month of training to get that right.

So, put the odds in your favor. More bullets equals more time to defend yourself. But if .45 1911 is all you have, thank God you have something.


ar15-rifle-scope

OK, so here’s the deal with long guns.

There are a lot of new AR owners out there right now. I love the AR platform. It is a complicated weapon system, should you not know how to operate it.

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So most AR’s you’ll be buying shoot a .223 round, right? Your average magazine will hold 30 rounds…that’s a lot of bullets.

But you have to look at your environments specifically because, if you go start popping off rounds from an AR inside of a confined space that’s full of drywall installation, and you’ve got children or family members forward of that position, there is a great chance that this will over penetrate.

Which means more chance of hurting those around you, so be careful alright?

So you’ve got a great amount of firepower right here. You’ve got plenty of bullets.

But here’s something else to consider. Have you ever heard guns going off inside of a house? It’s deafening, I can tell you that.

So you need to consider that this gun is going to make a lot of noise and it’s going to distort your environment. And now, fortunately, it’s going to distort the environment of your attackers too.

electronic protectionIf it were me, and I’ve got a gun, maybe I’d want to get some electronic hearing protection, the kind that you turn on with batteries and still allows you to hear the outside world. However, when the round cracks off, it tightens down, muffling your hearing while the shots go over, then it goes back to normal again.

Just something to consider. If you got it available and you do have time, it will be great to use.

 

wilson-shotguns cut

So here’s the deal with shotguns. I hear…

“I’m going to get me an 870. I’m going to put some double-up buck in that thing, and I’m going to tear his butt up.”

Hey, man, fantastic. But if you’re buying this gun and this is the only gun you have for home protection, are you expecting your wife, your girlfriend, your loved one, to be able to pick this gun up, run it out, and shoulder like you do?

Because I’m going to tell you right now, this thing is heavy. Coming down a stairwell, coming down a hallway, it gets heavy and has a lot of recoil.  I’m good with it. Just make sure that your people are trained how to use it.

Personally, I have the old 870 tactical shotgun. This gun’s pretty tricked out. I have a light. I have a forward hand grip, Thompson style.

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I’ve got a side saddle, 6 extra shells. I’ve got a rail on top, should I want to put an optic there. Collapsible butt stock, pistol grip, and then the plug let me hold 6 rounds.

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This plug runs all the way up to the end of the barrel and the barrel happens to be 16 inches.

And the rounds are double-up buck, and this is what most of the guys think that they’re going to get. Like I said, make sure the people in your family can handle it.

Now, mine is a 20-gauge youth model.

“EJ, why do you have a 20-gauge youth model?”

Well this is my kid’s turkey gun. But you know what?

It’s also set up for home defense.

Pull the optic on top, front and rear sights and even a smaller size individual, a woman, even a child, can hold and operate a 20-gauge shotgun (with some training of course).

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I can hold and shoulder a 20-gauge shotgun with children behind me. And I can still fire it. Bring my hand, pump, and move kids. I can move around doors and obstacles.

A 20-gauge shotgun with birdshot is less likely to penetrate into another room and break something or hurt somebody, like we talked about.

You may buy the 870 tactical for yourself. You may buy some type of Mossberg. Some tricked out Gucci gear….Everything you see on Call of Duty.

You may have all that on your gun, and that’s great. But,

if you’re going to buy something that the entire family or family members can use,

I recommend a youth model 20-gauge shotgun and put birdshot in it and add more rounds with a side saddle.

Alright, so let’s wrap this up.

If you happen to have an AR, that’s fantastic. You’ve got a lot of rounds, great knock down power. Just watch your over-penetration.

Understand that in order for you to reload it, you’ve got to insert the magazine, run the bolt forward. If it’s not already locked to the rear, you need to rack it. You need to pull the charging handle.

You’ll need to get some training on this gun. Guys in the military go weeks and weeks and weeks in training with this, same with the law enforcement. You need to do the same for yourself, for your loved ones.

If I have to run a pistol inside of a home defense situation, I want as many bullets as I can get. Make sure that’s a pistol you can handle, that you can effectively employ, and you can manipulate, should a malfunction occur.

So as you can see, there is no ‘perfect home defense weapon’. If there was, I would not be standing here and telling you what I’m telling you.

Pick the gun that’s right for you, right for your environment, and more importantly, a gun that you can correct a malfunction on instantly.

When your life is in danger, you need to count on that weapon, don’t let others make the choice for you, you decide for yourself because only you know yourself the best.

23 Comments

  • Mr. Owens! You rock!!!!

  • In today’s world, NOT anticipating one’s home to be invaded is the height of BLISSFUL IGNORANCE. PREPARING IS MANADATORY; that just plain common sense! If you, like us, are near your 80s and disabled/infirmed, a husband & wife for 52 years now – and counting down – surviving an invasion if probably possible if the ‘invaiders; are the ‘garden variety street trash’, that since we have been ‘gun savvy’ an entire life time but invasion by government storm troopers – that becoming more and more of a certainty as each day goes by; the odds of survival are reduced to the very minimal! We, having no RPG to defend against their nice new armored fighting vehicles; no Claymores to defend against the government storm trooper swat teams that are apparently and constantly ‘straining at the bit’ to ‘get at us citizens’; our life expectancy is one of a very, very short expectancy. Since wife and I have belong to Our Lord for almost all of our 80 years of life, death is certainly NO ‘hill to climb’ as it so certainly is for those who have spent their lives totally committed to the god of self and the Devil.
    Our concern is for our children.
    Having no grandchildren, that is thus not a constant concern however.
    True, our ancestors survived; all but a cousin, fighting under Our Southern Cross, Our Stars and Bars . . . and they survived, although barely, the Re-Destruction that followed, so we will see what we will see, i.e. if we are of the same mettle as they.

  • Ed says:

    I think you’re absolutely correct about using a 20 gauge instead of a 12 for home defense. I hunted with a 20 gauge from when I was 11 or 12 right up to adulthood and know it has plenty of power, just not as many pellets. But at gunfight range there’s little difference except for less recoil.
    The problem is getting the necessary extras for a 20 ga. I consider a side saddle ammo carrier an absolute for the additional rounds, I can’t find one for a 20 ga. Another absolute is a barrel shield, just try re-loading a pump shotgun after putting out two or three quick rounds without touching the burning hot barrel. I can’t find one for a 20 ga. And although it’s not a must, I can’t find a shoulder stock with a pistol grip for a 20 ga. That’s why I keep a 12 ga. Mossberg pump handy. A standard five round magazine and an ejector I can replace with a screwdriver.

    • Mike says:

      Ed,

      Had a similar problem with 870 20ga I bought for my wife…Midway has/had youth-length pistol-grip stock that bolted up perfectly in about 2 minutes. Length of pull is 11 3/4 inches or there abouts vs. standard 13 +. Less than $50 if memory serves…good hunting!

  • In reply to Mr Wyatt
    God gives us the right to protect our loved ones and the will to do it. if you were raised around
    firearms, you can still give it a good go ! I would go down fighting than not,for my family is all I have in this world and my brothers who fought many firefights with me. No matter how old we are we will have to fight the good fight because we will win in the end no matter what. said the LORD. from Bill retired A CO. 2/502 101st Airborne Div. Lrrp 1964 to 1970

  • Frank says:

    Regardless of your defensive weapon of choice one thing that I believe is very important is that you can get to it quickly. I believe if your not undressed for bed you should be carrying your gun just as if you were anywhere else that you would be carrying. Home invasions are often hit and run. They will open the door or crash through it and “it” is immediately on. This is different then someone trying to sneak around and rob you.
    Now for me to have my defensive weapon ready at all times at home it has to be a pistol. I prefer a 9 mil that holds 13 or 16 with my extended mag. This is a sub compact. I don’t think I would sleep well with my side arm strapped to my waste so I do keep my hand gun where I can get it without trying to open a safe. It’s right next to me. My night gun is a nearly full size 9 mil that holds 15. Why different guns you may ask. My night gun also has a tach light and red dot on it. I think I like most people need every advantage we can get especially if we are suddenly awoke with a crashing home invasion. It would be dark. My eyes would be blurry and my heart would be pumping really fast. Keep in mind most home invasions have more than one invader. You shoot the one closest to you first. If they have split up and you have kids then it’s time to react extremely fast and get to your kids and do what you need to do. No matter what. Don’t put your weapon down even if they are shielding themselves with one of your kids. If you do chances are the invasion will resume.
    Remember this is called a “home invasion”. It’s not a robbery even though you may be robbed if you are defeated. These people are brutal and have no sense of right or wrong. They have no limits to the what they will do to be successful with their home invasion.

  • Frank says:

    I forgot to mention but I keep my 9 mil hand loaded with critical defense hollow point rounds. They create more trauma and most likely won’t be a through and through round.

  • YOU HAVE DONE A GREAT SERVICE TO YOUR LISTNERS. THE RIGHT GUN FOR THE RIGHT PERSON IS SO SO IMPORTANT AND TRAINING AND PRACTICE ARE VERY NECESSARY. I CARRY A KIMBLE LIGHT WEIGHT 45 AND AROUND MY HOME OTHER GUNS ARE WHERE I MIGHT NEED THEM. LOADED
    MY GROWN CHILDREN WERE TRAINED AT EARLY AGES TO APPRECIATE AND USE GUNS. THERE WERE ALWAYS LOADED GUNS IN MY HOME BUT MY CHILDREN WERE TRAINED TO NOT PLAY WITH THEM ,WERE THERE TO KEEP OUR FAMILY SAFE IF NEEDED.
    YOU R SO RIGHT ,WHEN YOU TELL PEOPLE THEY WILL BE VERY NERVOUS. DON’T PULL IT OUT, IF YOU ARE NOT TRAINED AND PREPARED TO IMMEDIATELY USE IT. THIS ACTION IS ONLY, IF YOUR FAMILY LIVES ARE IN A LIFE TREATING SITUATION.
    BE SURE, ONCE YOU PULL THE TRIGER YOU CAN’T TAKE IT BACK. THIS IS THE MOST SERIOUS THING YOU MAY HAVE TO DO IN YOUR LIFE- BE SURE.
    KEEP YOUR OTHER GUNS IN YOUR SAFE.
    I LOVE MY GUNS AND WILL NEVER GIVE THEM UP. GOD HELP THIS COUNTRY

  • Scott Meyer says:

    Awsome!

    Thanks EJ, always great to hear from you.
    I always learn from you. I can’t wait to attend a second Modern Warrior Course next spring!

    I practice daily the principles and techniques I learned from you and V. I’m starting to notice the muscle memory taking over as I fine tune every movement. I visualize my movements like a precision machine, without having to think as I move through drills adding variations.
    Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast. PRACTICE!

    Thanks again!
    Scott

  • Trained at FrontSight to handle any malfunction, along with proper trigger control etc. When I decided to add a shotgun to my arsenal, I got a 20 ga. youth model–just right for a small woman to handle. I keep my Glock 19 loaded with Hornadys, and have extra 17 shell mags that fit my 17 and 19 (and a couple of 33 shell extended mags). I have a small revolver, but it’s for sticking in my pocket when shopping or as a last ditch backup. I don’t recommend it as a primary gun–too few shells and too stiff a trigger. With a woman’s hand strength being less than a man’s, we need slightly different ways of manipulating a semi-auto, but it’s worth learning to have the extra ammo and faster reloads.

  • I have been suggesting to my friends here in Chicago and suburbs to check you out because you just make sense. And you make that sense easily understandable and usable. My wife has a 357 next to the bed and I my Glock 26 (Holds12 rounds+ a 17round magazine next to the weapon ) next to me, then with a secondary grab position (Sig Sauer 238 -4 mags) for back-up. I told her she should watch this particular video and she will get it! (She thinks I’m going overboard!) Thanks for everything you do for the common law biding citizen of this country. God bless you and never stop! Eric Suszynski

  • GunDude says:

    Those who have bought a weapon for self defence (personal or home) PLEASE take a
    training course, cause the minute you pull that weapon and use it, your life will change forever, right or wrong.

  • Romeo MP says:

    Thanks EJ. I am getting honed by your lectures. May God Bless you. And God Bless America!

  • Everything makes since to me,when I teach my ccw classes I say some of the same things

  • […] are multitudes of guns out there. You may have a grandfather shotgun, and you may have a tricked-out tactical version of some type […]

  • […] remember that these weapons have pros and cons. The pro of a gun is I have distance. I can neutralize that threat from across the house. The con is […]

  • EJ Owens says:

    Thanks for the comments. I enjoy reading them a lot.

    In reality the “right” gun is….the one I can get my hands on in the moment.

    Thankfully most of you have several options and staging areas so you are in a better position to react quickly before that animal spreads his hate to your loved ones!

  • […] [This] is where the jewelry is kept. This is where the cash hoards are kept. This is where a lot of weapons are […]

  • Excellent article! I have never let my lady friend help pick out a gun that she is comfortable with. I just told her to grab the backup and barricade herself in the room and if anyone but me comes back, let them have some ammo. Gotta rethink this a bit and maybe take her shopping.

  • Robert says:

    well done! I will be sharing this video.

  • Lyle says:

    A very good article. I have a Sig 1911 in my nightstand. I go to the range at least twice a month. My wife has a S&W 22 with a laser designator in her night stand. She goes to the range with me and has been a good student. She can reliably shoot someone in the head. We both have CCW permits. She carries a Sig P238 with a laser designator. I usually carry a Beretta PX4 compact 9 but I have a Sig P938 that I often use as a backup. I found out my wife is getting me a S&W SD40VE for Christmas and I may make that my primary CCW weapon after a couple of hundred rounds at the range.

  • Dasbunker says:

    Other than the hearing protection and the 20 gage shotgun, you are completely full of shit.

  • […] are multitudes of guns out there. You may have a grandfather shotgun, and you may have a tricked-out tactical version of some type […]

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